Friday, November 30, 2007
He always was a rather conservative ACT MP, not warm towards civil unions or legalisation of prostitution. He has a good legal mind, but does this say more about Stephen Franks or ACT? I am sure ACT will be sad to lose him, but if National seeks someone to talk about the Treaty of Waitangi he would be a good man for that role - he's certainly head and shoulders above many of the National caucus.
She's now been charged with "insulting religion" and "inciting hatred" according to the Daily Telegraph. The Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain has fortunately been backing her saying "This is a disgraceful decision and defies common sense". Of course he's not defending her because the law is absurd and the punishment obscene, but because "There was clearly no intention on the part of the teacher to deliberately insult the Islamic faith". Presumably if she was trying to insult Islam, he'd happily see her be flogged? By contrast the "Sudanese Assembly of the Ulemas" a bunch of stoneage men believe she is part of an international conspiracy against Islam - but then again these are the same men who regard rape victims to be to anything but victims. Vile bastards to a man.
Boris Johnson, Conservative MP for Henley, who is trying to unseat Ken Livingstone as dictator for London, has said "the voices we need to hear now belong to Britain's vast, sensible Muslim majority. If British Muslims speak up decisively and loudly against this lunacy, then they can achieve two good things at once. Their arguments will be heard with respect in Khartoum, since they cannot be said to be founded on any kind of cultural imperialism, or to be actuated by Islamophobia."
Well indeed, although Johnson then slips a bit backwards saying "a strong protest by British Muslims against the imprisonment of Gillian Gibbons would help to contradict the growing ranks of pessimists and neo-cons - the people who say that the real problem is Islam, the religion itself. "
I can understand Boris saying this, and to an extent he's right - Islam as simply practised privately by consenting adults, is not a problem. People must have the right to believe whatever they wish and worship this, as long as they do not seek to initiate force against others. However, Islam as a basis for laws and the state is a problem, it is stone age. It DOES seek to initiate force against others, and more importantly enough Muslims in the West also seek to initiate force against others who insult them.
You see while Boris seeks to paint Islam as not being the problem he bemoans another fact "If you want grounds for despair, read the entries on the BBC website, in which some British Muslims say that she should be punished; or read the entries from people in Sudan saying that the children should be punished. It is tragic and incredible that we can allow people to take offence over such a simple misunderstanding. If this goes any further, it will entrench prejudice and misunderstanding. "
Frankly, such people are barbarians themselves, and this makes the point further. If there will be those who continue to think that people who do not initiate force against others deserve to have violence done to them, then they need to be criticised and outed for the fascists they are - they are no different from the likes of the BNP.
Sadly I think Boris is wrong with his last statement "But if British Muslim leaders are able to seize the opportunity and speak up for common sense, then they have a real chance to show that there is all the difference in the world between Islam and the ludicrous fanaticism that has incarcerated Gillian Gibbons." Sadly I think the difference is not that great. Most predominantly Muslim countries are full of people who wouldn't bat an eyelid at Gillian Gibbons's
UPDATE: She has been sentenced for 14 days, she wasn't even allowed her lawyers for the hearing. Stone age thugs and Damian Lanigan from the Daily Telegraph has a good comment on it all:
"Politicians have been fair game for millennia and now religions and religious people are as open to ridicule as everyone else. This is of course excellent news, and actually a mark of civilization. We all roll around in the mud together - but at the same time, we actually treat each other rather well. Is it ironic that those who profess to have powerful notions of something 'higher' can act so bestially? Or is it kind of inevitable?"
Indeed, every dictator acts in exactly the same way.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Sunday, November 25, 2007
More detailed results on Labor Party Broadcasting, I mean ABC's website here.
So, I'm hoping after this early start that the LDP in Australia can grow bigger and better. Under Labor, and with the Liberal Party in disarray, Australia could do with a decent third party of freedom as a foil to the Greens.
Interviewed by a British Muslim magazine, he criticises Western civilisation saying "Our modern western definition of humanity is clearly not working very well. There is something about western modernity which really does eat away at the soul".
Continuing he says "If the soul is, to give the most minimal definition, that dimension of us which is most fundamentally in conscious relation with the Creator, then those things which speed us up and harden us are going to get in the way of the soul. We don’t know how to talk about it any longer but it is language that we still reach for." In short, it appears to be something about the pace of life getting in the way of religion. Hmmm. He doesn't seem shy about spending the fruits of hard work though.
He also says "The more our education system is dominated by functionalism, skills, productivity, and the more our whole society is determined by that kind of mythology, the harder it is for the religious voice to be heard. There is a real abrasion between lots of the forms of modernity and religion". He has a point about education being vocational not educational, but to claim that work is a mythology given HIS job as a professional proponent of mythology, is a joke. He is right there is abrasion between modernity and religion - but I would say it is reason and religion.
Meanwhile while saying that the Muslims world must acknowledge that its "political solutions were not the most impressive" we commends praying five times a day. He calls for more engagement between communities, fine in its own right, but also to, in his words "help Muslims see that "not everything about the West is destructive, secular and undermining of virtue."
Not everything no, he isn't exactly a defender of it is he?
Ah to end the links between the church and state completely!
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
For Trotter it is "us" and "them". "Us" means the masses, the working classes, or as he would say those who are "obliged to earn a living by hiring ourselves out to the fortunate fifth". A view you'd find taught in Moscow 30 years ago. Those earning salaries could NEVER set up a business of their own could they? No. Indeed, those earning salaries are somehow inferior, at a disadvantage, though you might wonder if people didn't set up a business and didn't get a job, how Trotter would expect them to survive, except by the charity of others - or force (one he quite understands).
More telling is his view of "them". The "fortunate fifth". The despicable envy ridden venom for those who own more than others. You see if you save some of your salary, and set up a business, or make some investments, instead of drinking it, or spending it on consumption you are "fortunate". In the world of the Marxist success isn't something that everyone can aspire to if they work hard, apply their minds and try to get ahead - it is luck. It is clearly "luck" that such people are sought after by companies, not the fact that in most cases, hard work and intelligence get rewarded by those who value them. No, in Trotter's world it is binary.
"Them" own most things, it was luck they got it, and that is unfair isn't it? "Us", well we work for "them" increasing their wealth and they pay us a little to keep us going. See where this is heading? It is heading for the view that at the least, the state must exist to take from "them" to compensate "us" for the fact that "luck" bestowed property upon "them". At its worst it grants justification for the rivers of blood in revolution brought about by Marxists throughout the 20th century. After all, if you are taught that this is the way the world works, you might be angry and see the inequality in incomes and property as being unfair - not a simple reflection of the wide range of human abilities, intelligence, decisions made that were right and wrong, that those at either end of the "them" and "us" spectrum (rather than it being binary) may shift roles in our lives. More than one millionaire has ended up destitute or salaried, and vice versa.
For Marxists, the rich that have fallen are to be laughed at. The poor that have succeeded either better be engaging in significant amounts of charity and transfers, or are liars, cheats and have only succeeded through exploitation.
It is a fundamental bigotry against success - a bigotry that should be counter to human nature - imagine a civilisation that despises success. You don't have to imagine - go to North Korea, Cuba, look at China 1949-1979, Cambodia 1975-1979, "Myanmar", Albania 1945-1991, Romania 1947-1990, and on and on. It is a bigotry that at best stagnates and suppresses, with a little blood spilt from day to day (Cuba), at worst it murders en masse (China, Cambodia).
So this is how Trotter sees the debate - a debate about democracy. He sees democracy as only being legitimate when it grants the masses the right to say what he deems they would say if only they knew their best interests. These are leftwing views. He derides other views as those of the "owning classes". You wonder if he even thinks the "owning classes" should be allowed to participate. He knows if he said "no" he'd be walking right into the countries I listed above. After all, many communist states used the word "democratic" in their titles because they genuinely said they were "people's democracies" - "us" being represented by the communist party, in which case why represent "them" as they exploit, lie and cheat, so you only need one party to encompass the interests of "us". Trotter's view may perfectly align with the one party state.
However he isn't QUITE there yet. You see he also knows Labour swings from right to left, the 1980s being the period he despises most. He likes having the Greens and Maori Party keeping Labour honest with a leftwing perspective, and remember the Alliance which he credits as bringing Labour home. He also doesn't think you need you do away with liberal democracy to keep the left in power, you just need to regulate the expression of views of "them" by passing laws to ensure nobody can spend more money than "us" on that expression. Trotter's steady state democracy sees Labour permanently in power (pretty much), with the Greens and Maori Party keeping them there and honest. National permanently in opposition (by and large) and he'd just wish ACT would disappear, because that is "them" par excellence. He sees NZ First as representing a conservative version of "us", the one Rob Muldoon cultivated and which is long gone in National. Besides, Winston and Peter Dunne have been keeping "us" in power, so let's not get too upset (and both are one man ponies who are likely to retire in one or two elections).
Trotter also believes that, for all of his advocacy of "us" - most of "us" are really quite simple folk, bless them, salt of the earth I am sure. "Us" are easily swayed by lots of advertising, billboards, television, leaflets which advocate the election of "them", which criticises those who defend "us". In 2005 that's what happened. "Them" conspired, with a tiny religious sect (you can smell the evil), to produce billboards, leaflets and advertising that wasn't regulated or restricted enough. "Us" almost lost the election. Now "us" can't let "them" seduce the simple "us" to vote against their best interests can we? So we need a level playing field of advertising.
So the word "equality" is bandied about. Not actual equality mind you, he'd never expect Libertarianz and Labour to have the same amount of publicity - "don't be ridiculous", but enough to keep Labour and National on the same level. He says "them" want to "restrict ready access to effective mass communication technologies to people like THEMselves".
Funny how the argument to do the precise opposite is turned on its head - Marxists do that. However, his view is that such technologies aren't owned by the owners. He wants access to newspapers (which he actually has if he didn't notice it), broadcasting, forgets the internet is very much a free for all, forgets that anyone can publish leaflets, booklets and the like if they want - but hold on, what if you have MORE money. Ahhh, that's unfair. So he wants to restrict it. You see if you have the means and will to spend more money on political advertising than others, then you are one of "them" - which means you got the money from "luck" - and when you engage in politics you're ONLY going to express one political perspective.
You see, Trotter thinks "them" only want one thing - to use the state to defend the "them" and "us" system he has structured society and the economy into. So if you believe in "them" and "us" there are only two points of view. Therefore those with money want to use the state to advance themselves (ignoring that most advanced themselves in spite of the state!). We can't have the state advancing "them" can we? It's unfair. So that is why we need the EFB from his perspective.
Marxists want the EFB so "them" (people with money, who by definition got it by luck or exploitation) can't convince "us" (people without money, who are seduced by the advertising of "them" and don't know what's best for them, and who can't aspire to be one of "them", because "them" don't want it), to put "them" in power, defeating "us" (many of whom live and act like "them" but let's not mention that) in power. If "them" got in power they would use the state to make "them" richer and more powerful, and exploit "us" more and take away more of the "fair share" for "us". While "us" are in power, we'll take from "them" and look after "us". If we let "them" do as they wish, they would always be in power because most of "us" would be seduced by the advertising of "them".
It is a stark view of democracy that says most people are too stupid to know what is good for them and wont vote for their best interests, unless the views expressed at elections are in equal quantities - only then is it clear that they should vote for "us".
Arguments about freedom are meaningless in this world view. He sees those advocating freedom as "them" wanting freedom to not give "us" our share, and to exploit "us". Freedom for "us" is enough if you can protest and not get arrested, but that's it.
Of course, I wonder what category a man who has considerable access to all broadcast media and major print media would put himself in. He will claim to be one of "us", but how many of "us" have his power to influence? Or is it ok to be one of "them" in this situation. You know, a bit like how those high up the communist party would act and live like one of "them", but say if they didn't then the rest of "them" would get "us".
and in Australia, how come without such a law, it looks like "us" might beat "them"? Ah, but "them" have been in power for so long - they let "us" win for a term to remind us it's still democracy don't they?
Funny to be in the brain of a Marxist isn't it?